Boston Celtics: Layup Line
A look at other Celtics headlines (or what passes for such during the lockout) on a Monday holiday:
* Jermaine O'Neal has committed to taking part in a two-week hoops league hosted by Impact Basketball in Las Vegas, according to the New York Times. O'Neal has an offseason residence in Vegas, making it a short commute for him. Celtics guard Avery Bradley also spent time working with Impact this offseason, so it will be interesting to see if he gets invited to join the league. [Update: This story from our friends at ESPN New York confirms Bradley is scheduled to attend.]
* ESPN the Magazine's Chris Palmer reports the Kevin Durant-led Goodman League will tangle with members of the Indy Pro-Am on Sept. 24. Might Celtics rookie JaJuan Johnson be part of the Indy team after competing there this summer? Fellow Celtics rookie E'Twaun Moore did as well, but he's already overseas playing in Italy.
* Speaking of Moore, he's already knee-deep in preseason games for Benetton Treviso of Italy's Lega-Serie A. His teammates include local product Jeff Adrien and local favorite Brian Scalabrine. According to a box score in a game story posted on the team's official website Monday, Moore dropped 21 points in an exhibition win over a team from Frankfurt, Germany. The best news for Celtics fans: Moore hit 5-of-5 attempts from beyond the arc in the game, an encouraging sign about the progress of his 3-point shot (one that he undoubtedly has attempted to hone with eyes toward making the Celtics roster when NBA hoop returns).
As big an attraction as Duke figures to be in China, the Blue Devils' traveling party won't lack for celebrity, either. Coach Mike Krzyzewski said Tuesday that he expects former players Grant Hill, Jay Williams, Nolan Smith and Kyrie Irving to join the team for part or all of the upcoming trip to China and Dubai, as will Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, whose son Austin is a freshman guard for the Blue Devils. Duke will leave Sunday for a two-week tour that will include three games against Chinese teams and a fourth against the national team of the United Arab Emirates.
Now, lockout rules typically prohibit interaction between coaches and players, so it'll be interesting to see if the league allows Rivers to mingle with the active NBA hoopsters. And if they do, you gotta think Rivers will kindly remind free agent Hill that the Celtics could always use a savvy veteran swingman behind Paul Pierce. The Celtics interest in Hill in recent years has been well documented, particularly given Hill's relationship with Rivers, his coach in Orlando.
* Celtics guard Rajon Rondo is expected to participate in the celebrity basketball game hosted by old friend Kendrick Perkins Friday in Texas. From the Beaumont Enterprise:
On Friday, former Ozen boys basketball player Kendrick Perkins will host a celebrity basketball game featuring five fellow professional basketball players. The game will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at Ozen High School. Perkins, a 6-foot-10 center for the Oklahoma City Thunder, is expected to be joined by Oklahoma City teammates Kevin Durant, James Harden and Eric Maynor along with Milwaukee Bucks guard Stephen Jackson and Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo.
After noting last week that he's still recovering from a dislocated left elbow and can't endure too much contact just yet, expect Rondo's role in the game to be limited.
* Celtics coach Doc Rivers has a new pad after purchasing a $2.2 million penthouse suite atop the Four Seasons Hotel. From the Boston Globe:
Rivers, who previously rented at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, has purchased a penthouse at the Four Seasons Hotel. The well-compensated coach just closed on his new pad, paying $2.2 million for the 2-bed, 2.5-bath spread. Located on the 16th floor of the Boylston Street hotel, the penthouse has 1,801 square feet of living space, including enormous picture windows that look out over the Public Garden and Beacon Hill. It also offers 24-hour valet and concierge service. "He did his homework," said realtor Beth Dickerson, who handled the sale. "He wanted to clearly understand the market, and at the end of the day, he liked the service and privacy of this property."
As extravagant as it sounds, it's worth noting that $2.2 million is merely 31.4 percent of Rivers' annual salary (roughly $7 million after inking a 5-year, $35 million extension this offseason). If the median U.S. income is approximately $46,000, then Rivers' spending is equivalent to an average citizen purchasing a Toyota Yaris ($14,500).
* Celtics captain Paul Pierce is looking for Sports Illustrated's Sports Kid of the Year. Hop HERE to nominate, or HERE to see Pierce's promo video (a screenshot of which is featured at the top of this entry).
* Marquis Daniels recounts those frightening moments after suffering a spine injury in February to CSNNE.com, noting it was Kevin Garnett that kept him calm amidst the panic:
Daniels heard a voice. In that moment, the most intense player on the court was suddenly the calming assurance he needed. “I just remember I kept hearing Kevin [Garnett] telling me, ‘You’re gonna be alright. You’re gonna be alright,’” Daniels said. “I was like, ‘I can‘t move.’ He said, ’What do you mean?’ He kept telling me I was gonna be alright. I think that helped me out a lot, just hearing his voice telling me I was going to be alright. I stayed calm, I didn’t panic.”
Daniels' agent, Mark Bartelstein, said last month that his client is working out again with the goal of resuming his NBA career and noted Daniels expressed nothing but appreciation for his time in Boston, especially the way his teammates buoyed his spirits after the scary on-court incident.
(h/t: Red's Army; WEEI.com)
* Celtics first-round draft pick JaJuan Johnson continues to hint that he'll forgo overseas opportunities and simply work out stateside if there's any chance the 2011-12 NBA season can be salvaged, even as both sides suggest there's monster gaps between the players and owners at the start of negotiations towards a new collective bargaining agreement.
In a highlight/interview video from the Indy Pro-Am, Johnson talked about supporting college (and potentially pro) teammate E'Twaun Moore as he prepares to head to Italy during the lockout, working out with Tim Grover of Attack Athletics in Chicago, and his desire for the lockout to be over so he can get started on his NBA career.
"My teammate E'Twaun Moore just decided to play in Italy; I'm definitely supporting him, I've been with him for a long time now and I'm just really happy for him," said Johnson. "I don't think I'm going to head to Italy... or anything like that. I'm definitely waiting it out. I think the biggest thing for me is working on my body and just trying to get better from there.
"I've been working out with Tim. It's been good. The biggest thing is working on my lower-body strength, my abs... [Attack Athletics] speaks for itself, you train with the best players. It's a good fit for me."
Johnson said he's using the downtime to study film and mentally prepare himself for the season.
"Right now I'm just anxious," said Johnson. "I'm ready to meet all the guys, get acclimated in Boston and things like that. That's the part I'm really missing out on."
* As Moore prepares to join his Italian league team later this month, the Northwest Indiana Times talked to a local player agent about his experiences in Treviso:
European player agent Dave Maravilla, a 1982 Lake Central grad, recently returned from the NBA Euro Camp in Treviso. He said Benetton will be a good fit for Moore even though it has experienced hard times, financially, and has eliminated the million-dollar contracts it once handed out like candy.
"It's still a good job. It's still Benetton. I think it'll be great for him," Maravilla said. "He's going to experience European basketball at its best... More important for E'Twaun, he's got a chance to really step in and be an impact player. They'll be counting on him to contribute."
Sienna, Milano and Rome are the premier Italian teams with Benetton in the same conversation.
"Without a doubt, E'Twaun's going to have to bring his 'A' game to compete over there," Maravilla said. "He'll be challenged every game, every day in practice."
Moore also talks a bit about the hardships of the lockout and how it's delayed his NBA dream. Moore notes, "Getting drafted by the Celtics was a huge step for me in going from college to the pros. I'm still trying to soak it all in. But I still feel I'm an underdog and have got to prove myself at this next level."
* If there's no hoops in November, at least NBA 2k12 plans to let us revisit some glory days by utilizing cover-boy Larry Bird in legends mode. You can even take Bird and the old Big Three and pit them against LeBron and the Miami Thrice. From ESPN's The Gamer blog:
In the feature, gamers will play through some of the most memorable moments of 15 legends and their teams, including Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Dr. J, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar. As you play through the mode, you will then be able to unlock these teams and legends in order to match them up against current greats like Kobe's Lakers and Dirk's Mavs.
"One of the things we're really proud of as a franchise is that we've transcended video games and have become part of the talk about basketball and the NBA," says Jason Argent, 2K's vice president of marketing. "So we're going to leverage that with 'NBA 2K12' as every person who loves to debate sports, every person in every barber shop and bar and everywhere else always wonders: What would happen if today's Lakers played one of the Jordan teams?
* Grantland's Jonathan Abrams compares the 1998-99 NBA lockout to that of the current work stoppage and put him in the category of people that think a shortened (or cancelled) season could be disastrous for Boston.
The 2011-12 Boston Celtics could be devastated by a prolonged lockout. It's perfectly reasonable for someone to make the argument that Boston can rebound after last season when they were unsettled by the Kendrick Perkins trade and Shaquille O'Neal's will-he-or-won't-he-play drama. It's harder to see Boston's veteran legs outlasting teams in a shortened season in which games would be played on a tighter schedule. Additionally, if a whole season is missed and the contracts of 2011-12 never come into play, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett will become free agents and Boston will likely be denied ever having a last run with the core of the 2007-08 championship team. Only Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, and Avery Bradley are currently under contract for the 2012-13 season.
* The Pistons officially introduced Lawrence Frank as their new head coach Wednesday and he's bringing a Boston-like philosophy to Detroit. Frank on his coaching philosophy from the Detroit Free Press: "We’re going to be a defense-first team, a rebounding team, an attacking team, a low-turnover, high-assist team. … You have to compete at both ends, but we’ll be defense-first. … It’s a collective effort, mind-set and trust through good and bad."
* ESPN Insider examines Dwight Howard as part of its ongoing 2012 free agent profiles. Kevin Pelton pegs the Celtics as one of a few potential best fits for Howard: "By contrast, the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers or New Jersey Nets could build around Howard's skills. While they would need to add spot-up shooters like the Magic boast to keep defenses honest, those teams all could offer a creator on the perimeter to either work the pick-and-roll with Howard or take over games down the stretch when Howard's poor free throw shooting is an issue."
* While the NBA might be in lockout mode, the NBA Development League plans to play its season. With that in mind, the Maine Red Claws will host an open tryout at UMass-Boston on Sept. 10. “This is an opportunity for players to showcase their talents and perhaps earn an invite to a professional training camp,” said Red Claws first-year head coach Dave Leitao. “I am very familiar with the level of talent in and around Massachusetts, and I am hopeful we can find some players who can battle their way onto the opening day roster.” More info and a registration form can be found HERE.
* It's not Kevin Durant dropping 66 in Rucker Park, but this glance at JaJuan Johnson at the Indy Pro-Am ought to get Celtics fans excited:
* Sources confirmed to ESPN.com that the Detroit Pistons and Lawrence Frank have finalized an agreement on a four-year deal that officially opens Boston's search for its next top assistant. Boston visits Detroit for the first time next season on Nov. 27 ... assuming there's basketball in November.
* Speaking of former top assistants, every time Tom Thibodeau stood up to lament a blown defensive assignment in Boston, his ailing knee probably got a little worse.
* If any of the six Celtics' currently under contract get the urge to play overseas, FIBA said it's cool to do so on Friday (so long as there's an end-of-the-lockout opt out).
* A dog in a KG jersey. Anything is possible!
* Your humble reporter has been aiding ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage in Foxborough the past couple days. Updates, particularly as this lockout goes on, might slow down a bit, but we'll try to keep things as vibrant as possible in this space. But post-lockout football is the hot topic right now -- especially with these wheeling and dealing Patriots -- and even Von Wafer thinks the Patriots obtaining both Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth this week was a bit absurd:
Tim Duncan. But I feel a tiny bit dirty. If Kevin Garnett had played alongside David Robinson and under Gregg Popovich and owner Peter Holt, maybe Garnett would be the one with the better jewelry collection. As for the legends in this conversation (Kevin McHale, Bob Pettit, Charles Barkley, Dave DeBusschere, Karl Malone, Elvin Hayes), to my eyes, Duncan and Garnett are just longer, stronger, faster and better.
* Jeff Green is using his spare time to do some good during the lockout. The White House blog notes Green's appearance as a group of Wounded Warriors played hoops on the South Lawn earlier this week. Green is also slated to join Kobe Bryant as part of a Celebrity Soccer Challenge hosted by Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra this weekend in D.C.
* Kentucky coach John Calipari recently announced (via Twitter) that eight Kentucky pros, including Rajon Rondo, would participate in an August exhibition game against the Dominican Republic national team. Maybe Rondo can use the event to lobby teammate (and unrestricted free agent) Tayshuan Prince to consider coming to Boston at a discount rate. Aside from an egregious use of "Kaboom!", Calipari also shared the news that players like Rondo plan to use an extended lockout to dive back into college studies:
(h/t: Green at White House: WEEI; Kentucky: Red's Army)
“It wasn’t like the man passed away or something,” Rondo said. “I think we put too much emphasis on it. It’s a business. He got traded. He’s very happy where he’s at. We still talk and I’m always going to have his back. It shouldn’t have affected us the way it affected us.”
In Episode 5 of The Association, Rondo expressed the same sentiment while talking about the trade with teammate Avery Bradley. At the time, Rondo laughed and noted, "It's kinda different now... Nobody died, but..." before trailing off. Listen, there's no doubt the Celtics took the trade hard, particularly in the immediate aftermath (just watch Kevin Garnett's interview after Boston's first game without Perkins in Denver). But let's be honest, physical injuries -- including Rondo's elbow dislocation and Shaquille O'Neal's Achilles troubles -- hurt the Celtics far more than anything mental by the time May rolled around.
What might have been a more interesting revelation from Rondo is that the Big Three are genuinely concerned about a lengthy lockout because of their ages. But Rondo shrugs it off noting, "They said we were done two years ago. We could care less about that. We could care less about people saying we are done."
* While E'Twaun Moore's camp wasn't announcing anything official on Monday, international hoops site Sportando reported an agreement had been reached for Boston's second-round draft pick to join Cimberio Varese of Italy's Lega Serie A. The site quotes Cimberio Varese's president in noting the deal will have an opt out clause to allow Moore to return stateside when a new collective bargaining agreement is achieved. Hop HERE to read more, including a breakdown of Lega Serie A.
“It’s definitely not the traditional summer that a rookie probably goes through, but you can also use this opportunity to rest yourself, work out your own game, watch film,’’ he said. “Even though you’re not with the team, you have the opportunity to do those types of things.’’
At the end of the month, Johnson will head to Attack Athletics in Chicago to work with Tim Grover, who has trained Michael Jordan, Dwyane Wade, and Gilbert Arenas, among others. He’ll focus on core exercises and lower-body strength. Weight won’t be an issue.
“They’d always say something about my weight,’’ he said. “Now, I just kind of use what I’ve got. I’m happy with myself. I know I definitely need to get stronger. But it’s not one of those things that I’m stressing myself over.’’
* The joke, of course, is that it would be easier to create a list of players not interested in playing overseas if the lockout persists, but here's ESPN.com's growing list of players headed overseas or playing for their national team (and those few that are not interested in going international during the work stoppage).
* Celtics guard Avery Bradley is among those working out this summer at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas. Impact has a history of aiding the development of NBA players (Jermaine O'Neal and Kevin Garnett are featured on the site). What's more, Bradley spent his senior year of high school playing at nearby Findlay College Prep in Henderson, Nev.
* Speaking of C's in Vegas, the Las Vegas Review Journal noted Garnett, Rajon Rondo, and Ty Lue were part of an All-Star list of NBA hoopsters at Marquee's Boom Box Room on Friday.
* The Portland Press Herald takes a look at Red Claws new head coach Dave Leitao. The story talks about Leitao getting a chance to reconnect with his family after leaving the University of Virginia.
"It was the best two years of my life, and I can say that unequivocally," said Leitao. "When I left (Virginia) I did not realize where I was at in other important areas of my life. This time off game me time, while I was still staying busy, to address some of the things that are clearly important to one's life and provide balance so that, if you go get the chance to get back in (to coaching), you do it with a much better perspective.
"So whether it's been my relationship as a father, as a husband, my spiritual relationship, my mental health, my physical health, all of those things, I made sure to address them and spend a lot of time taking care of them."
The rundown: Rookies stay busy | Walking away | Emotional Big Baby | Doc at Coaching U
ROOKIES KEEPING BUSY IN INDY: Celtics draft picks JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore are staying sharp through the lockout by participating in the Indy Pro-Am basketball league on the campus of IUPUI this summer. Here's more on Moore, courtesy of Indy TV station, WLFI:
"It's exciting going to Boston and a good team, especially to go there with JaJuan [Johnson], you know we are best friends, so it is definitely fun," said Moore.
For an NBA rookie who doesn't have a guaranteed contract, it's important to stay sharp and continue to work on your game. "They told me to keep working hard you know and hopefully when the year come back around to be ready to play and hopefully go in there with a positive attitude and hopefully get on the team," said Moore.
* SHAQ: MIAMI'S 'BIG 2': Making his analyst debut Tuesday as part of NBA TV's coverage of the 2011-12 schedule release, former Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal didn't waste any time attracting headlines by jabbing Miami forward Chris Bosh. From the Associated Press:
During NBA TV's show Tuesday to announce the league's schedule for the 2011-12 season -- one jeopardized by a lockout -- O'Neal referred to the Heat as having a "Big 2." Since Bosh, Wade and James teamed up in Miami, they've been called the "Big 3" in many circles.
"The Miami Heat, they've got a lot of great players, the `Big 2.' They will be back," O'Neal said from Louisiana during the broadcast, when discussing the NBA finals and how Dallas was able to beat Miami for the title. "LeBron James is taking a lot of criticism, but I know LeBron very well. He hears everything that everyone is saying, so I think he's going to come back and have an MVP year this year."
During his debut, Shaq also again squashed any thoughts of a return to the hardwood next season, but predicted a strong campaign for Boston. He did opine that an "underdog" would emerge as NBA champ, however.
* 5-ON-5: SCHEDULE THOUGHTS: In the latest edition of ESPN.com's 5-on-5 series, five writers tackle five questions about the 2011-12 schedule. A couple Celtics references sprinkled in among the questions, including whether the team should be playing on the league's opening night (Mavericks vs. Bulls opens the season and Boston debuts a night later vs. Cleveland).
* C'S LOSE COACHING ASSOCIATE, VIDEO COORDINATOR: Celtics coaching associate Darren Erman is expected to join the Golden State Warriors as an assistant coach next season, as first reported by Yahoo! on Tuesday. Earlier this week, Harvard announced that Celtics video coordinator Brian Adams will join its men's basketball staff as an assistant coach. While much of the offseason front office focus is on whether top assistant Lawrence Frank will be back with the team, the Celtics are losing two diligent workers that did a lot to aid the team behind the scenes.
Get ready for the Big Analyzer, Big Commentator, or whatever other nickname he takes in the next phase of his career. O'Neal agreed Thursday to a multiyear deal with Turner Sports to become an analyst on its NBA coverage, where he will fold his 7-foot-1 frame into the fourth chair on the TNT set alongside Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson.
"I'm just going to try to make it more fun than it already is," O'Neal said during a conference call.
O'Neal also will contribute to NBA TV and NBA.com, and his agreement includes a development deal with Turner's entertainment and animation networks. O'Neal said he had other offers upon retiring last month, but quickly chose the Turner offer, saying he wasn't interested in creating a bidding war for his services.
* 5-ON-5: C's PAST SECOND ROUND?: In ESPN.com's latest edition of 5-on-5, panelists weigh in with how confident they are on certain topics. One of the questions asks whether the Celtics and Lakers will make it out of the second round of the playoffs next season. A sampling of the responses, starting with confidence in each team, ranked on a scale of 1-10:
Chip Crain, 3 Shades of Blue: Lakers 7, Celtics 5. The Lakers still will be one of the four best teams in the West no matter what they do or don't do in terms of changing their roster. The Celtics aren't getting old -- they are old. Their depth isn't what it used to be, and they are one Rajon Rondo injury from being a mediocre team.
Devin Kharpertian, Nets Are Scorching: Lakers 3, Celtics 3. They each have an outside shot, but I don't see it happening. Both franchises have been stellar the past few season, and both hit a wall in the 2011 playoffs. With Miami, Chicago and Oklahoma City on the rise, L.A. and Boston have some moves to make before we can consider them serious contenders again.
Brian Robb, Celtics Hub: Lakers 6, Celtics 8. It may be the Celtics homer in me, but there is too much pride, urgency and talent remaining on the roster to fall short of one final deep playoff run. The same goes for the Lakers -- but a lack of faith in Mike Brown's coaching abilities knocks this number down a couple of notches.
* LOCKED OUT FROM COACH CONTACT: And here's the latest example of how ridiculous this lockout is: Old friend Tony Allen noted how he's in Orlando Thursday and couldn't even drop a line to his former coach, Doc Rivers, because of NBA rules prohibiting contact between players and coaches until a new collective bargaining agreement is achieved:
Thoughts on Celtics-related headlines from across the interwebs on Friday:
* ROCK LOBSTER: Glen Davis trekked to Bath, Maine last month to become an official lobsterman. Here's a superbly produced video from the folks at Get Maine Lobster detailing his experience.
Forsberg's thoughts: Hey, it's a lockout, everyone needs a job now.
* CLAWS ADD SIXERS AFFILIATION: Sticking up north, the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League added the Philadelphia 76ers as an affiliated team, joining the Celtics and Charlotte Bobcats. "The Philadelphia 76ers are an excellent team with a great coaching staff and management,” said Red Claws president and general manager Jon Jennings. “The 76ers have shown a strong commitment to developing young talent and we are thrilled to add them as an NBA affiliate. Philadelphia has been a hotbed of great basketball for generations, and we look forward to continuing that tradition in Maine. The Red Claws have enjoyed tremendous relationships with the Charlotte Bobcats and Boston Celtics for two seasons, and we are looking forward to an equally beneficial relationship with the 76ers."
Forsberg's thoughts: What does it mean? Well, if there's an NBA season, there's a chance that Lavoy Allen and E'Twaun Moore -- second-round picks for the 76ers and Celtics, respectively -- could cross paths in Portland.
* GREEN WORKING OUT AT GEORGETOWN: Celtics forward Jeff Green is working out back at his old college stomping grounds as part of Georgetown's Kenner League. From the GeorgetwonPatch:
The Kenner League is a chance to reconnect with players from the past. Jeff Green, one of the stars of the Hoyas 2007 Final Four team, played with [Jabril] Trawick and the other freshman in town during the first two days. The Boston Celtics forward is one of several current NBA and professional players expected to show during the tournament, both on the court and watching from the sidelines.
Forsberg's thoughts: Hey, at least he's not bolting for Russia or Turkey.
* Could lockout send C's rookies overseas?: We've talked plenty about how Gilbert Brown, the undrafted shooting guard that the Celtics have interest in bringing to training camp, is headed to Germany to bide time until the lockout is over. In Thursday's editions, the Boston Herald has the agents of JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore discussing the possibility of them crossing the Atlantic as well.
“It’s all over the board right now, but some Euroleague teams we’ve talked to are interested,” Mark Bartelstein, the agent for Moore, told the Herald. “It’s a day-to-day thing. We really don’t know yet.”
Forsberg's thoughts: If the lockout is going to wipe out the entire 2011-12 season, it makes complete sense for young players to head overseas. Not only do they need the money, they need the experience. With no contract to bind them stateside -- rookies can't be inked until there's a new CBA in place -- it's going to be an attractive option. The difficulty is going to be deciding when to leap as more lucrative opportunities -- but less flexibility on opting out -- likely exist now, but might not soon if a tidal wave of talent crashes on the European shores. Even if Boston's rookies sign overseas and cannot facilitate a opt-out clause, the Celtics retain their rights and can always reel them back in for future seasons.
Krstic's deal with CSKA Moscow now official
It's official! The captain of the national team of Serbia, Nenad Krstic, signed a two-year contract with CSKA Moscow, until the end of the 2012-2013 season. After seven years in the NBA -- with the New Jersey Nets, Oklahoma City Thunder and Boston Celtics, averaging 10.0 points, 5.4 rebounds in 25.2 minutes in 419 regular-[season] games, and 10.4 points, 5.4 rebounds in 25.2 minutes in playoff games -- the center decided to come back to Europe to compete at the highest level to win the Euroleague.
* Forsberg's thoughts: Reports indicated this was coming earlier this month, so it's not a total surprise. The interesting part is that a representative at Invictus' offices told us Wednesday that there's no clause in the contract that allows for early termination based on the NBA lockout (and that person also didn't believe there's an NBA release after the first year of the deal). Now, contracts are meant to be broken, but, on the surface, that would essentially wipe out any thoughts of Krstic returning to the Celtics at any point during the 2011-12 season. He was set to be an unrestricted free agent, but Boston holds limited rights to him and could have re-signed him this offseason at a reasonable salary bump (contingent, of course, on the new collective bargaining agreement).
L.A. Daily News: C's interested in moving up for Vucevic?
NBA personnel said this week Vucevic will probably be drafted somewhere between the No. 9 and No. 17 picks, which makes it seem silly there were doubts he would turn pro a few months ago.
"He's moved up drastically during his workouts," said an NBA general manager who did not wish to be identified. "A lot of teams like him now."
The Knicks are believed to be highly interested, along with the Houston Rockets. The Boston Celtics are even interested in trading up in order to select Vucevic, according to sources.
* Forsberg's take: The Celtics brought Vucevic in for a workout and he's clearly an intriguing player given his size and range. If the Celtics are convinced they might not be able to find an impact big man at No. 25 (or beyond), it stands to reason they'd be interested in moving up. But what's the price? With the protected pick they acquired from Oklahoma City (via the Los Angeles Clippers) in the Jeff Green/Krstic trade, Boston potentially has two first-round picks next year it could be willing to dangle for the right player.
(h/t on Vucevic: CelticsBlog)
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